February 19, 2016

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

MINNEAPOLIS (February 19, 2015) – As supporters of cooperative businesses and young professionals, the nation’s second largest general farm organization will host more than 110 students from 15 colleges and universities here this weekend.  The 2016 National Farmers Union (NFU) College Conference on Cooperatives (CCOC) will provide a three-day, interactive learning experience designed to help shape the next generation of agriculture.

“Cooperatives organized by farmers and ranchers play an important role in strengthening rural and urban economies across the country. CCOC engages tomorrow’s leaders through a unique platform that teaches them about cooperative business principles and the opportunities available through the cooperative model,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.

Representatives from traditional and value-added agricultural cooperatives, housing and worker-owned co-ops, and consumer cooperatives such as grocery co-ops will offer insights on cooperative development. Students will also hear about the challenges facing the industry from current cooperative leaders, farmers and members.

In addition, participants will visit several area cooperatives, including the nation’s largest agricultural cooperative CHS Inc., and the Mill City Museum, a river-front museum built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill.

Johnson explained, “NFU was founded on the core principles of education and cooperation, and we proudly continue that emphasis today with hands-on learning experiences, like CCOC.”

“Thanks to the support of our sponsors, NFU is able to provide cooperative education beyond the farm and ranch gate to young leaders from college campuses across the United States,” Johnson concluded.

This year’s conference was made possible by the generous support of the CHS Foundation, CHS Inc., CoBank, Farmers Union Industries Foundation, NFU Foundation, Minnesota Cooperative Education Foundation, and Organic Valley.

To learn more, visit

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.